Senior Housing Properties Trust Changes Name, Announces $208M in Sales

Senior Housing Properties Trust (Nasdaq: SNH) sold nearly $208 million worth of assets, changed its name and made its first active adult acquisition in the tail end of 2019.

The Newton, Massachusetts-based real estate investment trust (REIT) announced Monday it had completed $207.8 million in property sales during the fourth quarter of 2019. The sales included the disposition of a seven-community portfolio totaling 566 units in California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida and Rhode Island for approximately $103.3 million; and the sale of a 150-unit senior living community in Redmond, Washington, for $32.5 million.

Senior Housing Properties Trust also sold a 95,000-square-foot medical office building in Atlanta for $14 million. At the same time, the REIT obtained a new, short-term $250 million senior unsecured term loan.

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Senior Housing Properties Trust did not disclose the buyers, operators or tenants involved in the transactions.

The REIT also changed its name to “Diversified Healthcare Trust” and changed its ticker symbol to “DHC. ” The new name — which went effective on January 1, 2020 — is more suited to the company’s strategy going forward, according to Jennifer Francis, Senior Housing Property Trust’s president and COO.

“We are excited to change our name to Diversified Healthcare Trust, which we believe more accurately depicts both our portfolio of diverse, high-quality healthcare real estate and our strategy moving forward,” Francis stated in a press release announcing the change. “Over the past 10 years, we have made considerable progress in diversifying and enhancing what was once a pure-play senior living portfolio by strategically acquiring state-of-the-art life science properties and well-located medical office buildings in order to meet the broader real estate needs of the continually evolving healthcare industry.”

The company used proceeds from its sales and loans to buy a 169-unit active adult rental community in Plano, Texas, for about $50.3 million. The community is within a 10-mile radius of two other Senior Housing Property Trust/Diversified Healthcare Trust communities: a 245-unit community called Forum at Park Lane, and a 143-unit community called Premier Residences of Dallas.

The active adult purchase was aimed at attracting baby boomers, who are interested in wellness and socialization. This acquisition marks the first active adult rental property in the REIT’s portfolio.

“We believe the addition of this active adult property to our portfolio will capture the evolving real estate needs of the baby boomer generation, provide additional diversification of our assets and create synergies with our existing independent and assisted living communities,” Francis stated.

A company spokesperson declined to comment to SHN on the company’s acquisition strategy going forward, citing the fact that it has not yet issued acquisition guidance for 2020.

The most recent dispositions were part of the company’s previously announced plan to sell up to $900 million of properties as part of its restructuring with Five Star Senior Living (Nasdaq: FVE), which was due to complete by Jan. 1, 2020.

The company now known as Diversified Healthcare Trust has so far sold or inked agreements to sell about $678 million worth of properties as part of its ongoing dispositions. The REIT also said prospective buyers are interested in an additional $231 million worth of properties.

Looking ahead, the REIT expects to use the proceeds from these sales to pay down debt and fund potential acquisitions, among other general business purposes.

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